"Just 18 Summers" by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox is a very good book to remind us that our children are only with us for a short time and to spend time with them. I really liked this book to the point I would love to see a separate book about each of the different families portrayed in the book. First family is of Butch a man who tragically lost his wife and now is trying to be dad and mom to his children. Second family is Beth's who happens to be Butch's sister in law, she and her husband are learning how to deal with soon to be an empty nest family and deal with Beth's sisters death. Then we have Helen. Beth's neighbor and friend, who wants her family to be perfect must learn that no family can or will be perfect. Finally we have Tippy who is pregnant with her first child and wondering how to be a mom. We also have the viewpoints of the husbands but to me I was more interested in the viewpoint of the mothers (except in Butch's case). Now I will admit I was not getting into the book at first cause I am not a fan of multiple stories but as I kept reading I really got into the story.
I think part of the reason I got into the story is my oldest will be 18 in a month and it really brings to life what I have been thinking this summer. Which is that this may be my last summer with him before he starts his life completely without us. Its not been a summer of just hanging as he has an almost full-time job but since he doesn't have his driver's license (I know weird but he loves to walk and can walk to almost everything he needs to go except work) different people in the family have been giving him rides. During these rides to and from work its been nice to connect with him about his life and his future. This book for me was another reminder that time is short with our kids and to take advantage of it even if that means the house is a mess or other things don't get done.